5 Areas where Exercise is like Medication

1. Heart Disease

Being fit lowers the risk of having heart attacks and increases survival rates in those with coronary artery disease, according to researchers at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US. Meanwhile, an Austrian study showed that a mere three weeks of exercise and a healthy diet produced positive changes in middle—aged men with metabolic syndrome, one of the causes of heart disease.

2. Diabetes

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Southern Denmark have found that three and a half hours of weight training exercises each week leads to a dramatic decrease in type 2 diabetes risk among women.

3. Cancer

The Cancer Council of Victoria says physical activity can help prevent prostate cancer and breast cancer—and there are dozens of studies showing that cancer survivors who exercise live longer than those that don’t.

4. Stroke

A massive study by the University of Alabama last year conclusively proved physical inactivity increases the chances of suffering a stroke.

5. Anxiety & Depression

Even when it comes to depression, exercise can work as well as any anti—depressant, say experts. A recent systematic review published in the Journal of Science in Medicine and Sport found regular exercise is likely to be effective in the treatment of many depression symptoms. The review’s author suggested that moderate intensity, supervised 30—40 minute aerobic sessions three to four times weekly over a period of at least nine weeks “are likely to be most effective in the treatment of depression symptoms”   

Fitness First Magazine—Jul/Aug 2014

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